Essay Contest: Giving is Receiving — Eric Wu

EricWu_300x300Eric Wu (9th grade)

Giving is Receiving

5 December, 2015

Our existence today is nowhere near perfection. At a glance, it may seem as if our world contains few flaws, but a closer look is all it takes to prove otherwise. Behind the false mask of good lies a society ravaged with problems; Problems that not only concern us as individuals, but humanity as a whole.

These underlying issues aren’t preventable by a single person. Only with the aid of many can they be resolved. Despite this, though, a common misconception still held by certain individuals today is that they are incapable of leaving a positive effect on society. As a result, they lack the motivation needed to contribute to our world. These individuals are wrong. They have not only incorrect resolve, but a warped mindset as well. As Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister, once stated, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. No matter the quantity, every amount of effort one puts in should be considered beneficial.

Initially, I was also a victim of this misguided thinking. My volunteer work with AYLUS and other various charities and events provided me with the key to overcoming this previous mentality. One instance of this is my recent visit to the Houston Food Bank. Along with my fellow Fort Bend Branch members, we packed and sorted food for 3 hours. Through deeds like this and many others, I not only was presented with an opportunity to give to my community, but also received a sense of accomplishment and pride for my actions in return. We may have only provided for a miniscule portion of those in need, but the combination of these small acts from all of our city’s volunteers have helped prevent more than 67 million tales of hunger and starvation each year. Our individual actions may seem insignificant at a larger scale, but every effort counts, regardless of the size. These various contributions have gradually built up to be the framework for my understanding of what giving truly means.

Giving and receiving are widely perceived as opposing actions, but they are undoubtedly linked together in an inseparable bond. They constantly support each other in an endless cycle throughout the steady stream of our lives. When one process halts, the entirety of the process ceases to operate and the flow is abruptly interrupted. Giving is not only a form of receiving; It is, perhaps, the best kind of receiving. As Albert Pike once put it, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”.

Updated: December 7, 2015 — 3:01 am
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